The SEC network is a television network devoted to college sports in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It will launch on August 14, 2014 and will be operated by the ESPN network. In fact, the new network’s alternate name is the ESPN SEC Network. The initial partnership between ESPN and the SEC network is scheduled to last for 20 years. Programming will focus not only on SEC sports games, it will also feature news and analysis of the games, teams, and schools involved in these sports.
The launch of the SEC network was announced on May 2, 2013 by ESPN president John Skipper and SEC commissioner Mike Slive. The new network will be based out of ESPN’s Charlotte, North Carolina office. Its main aim will be to provide the most comprehensive SEC sports coverage of any other sports network on television.
The initial plan for the network is to broadcast a minimum of 1,000 live sporting events in its first year. These sporting events will be divided up among the 21 sports that are included in the Southeastern Conference. These sports include both men’s and women’s versions of some sports, such as basketball, baseball, and volleyball. There will also be three football games aired on the network on Saturdays. CBS will no longer have exclusive broadcast rights for SEC games, though it will retain the right of first choice of games for its 3:30 pm slot on Saturdays. However, the SEC network can now air SEC games alongside CBS and on its own choice of schedule, outside of CBS’s first pick of the Saturday afternoon slot.
The SEC network has already picked up several carriers, including Dish Network, which was among the first carriers to agree to air SEC. Dish Network made the announcement it was going to carry SEC in March 2014. Dish Network is an excellent choice for viewing SEC programming, as it has a 99.99 percent reliability rating regardless of weather, and is more reliable than traditional cable in this regard. With Dish Network, no one will ever miss any part of a game on the new SEC Network.